Sincerity (Oliver Holden)

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  • (Posted 2014-11-02)  CPDL #33274:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2014-11-02).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 30 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval-note edition. Transcribed from The Union Harmony, 1793.
  • (Posted 2014-11-02)  CPDL #33275:     
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2014-11-02).   Score information: 7 x 10 in (landscape), 1 page, 59 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape).

General Information

Title: Sincerity
First Line: Tis a point I long to know
Composer: Oliver Holden
Lyricist: John Newton (hymnwriter)

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 77. 77

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1793 in The Union Harmony, Volume 1, p. 90
    2nd published: 1806 in The Young Convert's Companion for two parts, no. 6
Description: Words by John Newton, 1779.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

'Tis a point I long to know,
Oft it causes anxious thought,
Do I love the Lord or no?
Am I his, or am I not?

If I love, why am I thus?
Why this dull and lifeless frame?
Hardly, sure, can they be worse,
Who have never heard his name!

Could my heart so hard remain,
Prayer a task and burden prove,
Every trifle give me pain,
If I knew a Savior's love?


When I turn my eyes within,
All is dark and, vain and wild,
Filled with unbelief and sin,
Can I deem myself a child?

If I pray, or hear, or read,
Sin is mixed with all I do;
You who love the Lord indeed,
Tell me, is it thus with you?

Yet I mourn my stubborn will,
Find my sin a grief and thrall;
Should I grieve at what I feel,
If I did not love at all?


Could I joy his saints to meet,
Choose the ways I once abhorred,
Find at times the promise sweet,
If I did not love the Lord?

Lord, decide this doubtful case!
Thou who art the people's sun,
Since upon thy work of grace,
If indeed it be begun.

Let me love thee more and more,
If I love at all, I'll pray,
If I have not loved before,
Help me to begin today.